U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FUNDS NEW CNG BUSES AND FACILITIES
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has selected multiple natural gas fuel projects as part of its Bus and Bus Facilities Grant Program that will help provide more modern, reliable bus service for transit riders across the country. At least ten of the projects are Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) related.
Selected projects include those that replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment as well as projects to purchase, rehabilitate and construct bus-related facilities, such as buildings for bus storage and maintenance.
Among the projects selected to receive 2016 Bus Program funding are the Mass Transportation Authority in Flint, Michigan, which will receive $12.8 million for the purchase of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses and a workforce development training program for mechanics and bus driver, and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) in California will receive $10.5 million for the replacement of buses that have met their useful life with CNG buses to operate in the South Bay LA area. LACMTA will also install related CNG infrastructure and train workers on the new technology.
Other receivers of financial support are the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) (FL), the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (AL), and the Central Arkansas Transit Authority (AR) in Little Rock, known as Rock Region Metro. Project proposals were evaluated based on criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, with priority given to projects that address significant repair and maintenance needs, improve the safety of transit systems, include advanced technologies to connect bus systems with other networks, and support the creation of ladders of opportunity.
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in December 2015, authorized FTA’s competitive Bus and Bus Facilities Grant Program through 2020.